The Good Mom

“You’re Worth Fighting For”

He had yelled at me. Literally raised his voice in anger. I was shocked. What is happening?

We went inside to talk.

Maybe I went too far.

“Do you realize how much I’ve given up for you? Do you realize that I’m here-at home-every day for you? Do you realize that I’ve given up EVERY ONE of my childhood dreams to stay home? I wash your clothes…clothes I don’t wear. I cook your food…food I don’t eat. My whole life is spent serving you. How dare you yell at me?”

And maybe I was starting to yell myself.

Then it hit me like a tidal wave…in the middle of my rant.

“But you are worth it. You are worth giving up everything for. Why? Because Christ gave it all up for you.”

Did those words actually come from my angry lips? Maybe there is such a thing as grace.

“I will keep fighting for your heart, because Jesus says you’re worth it. I’ll keep fighting sin, because Jesus says I’m worth it.”

There is discipline. I’ve punished him for yelling. But I’ve also realized something…

Our kids are worth fighting for because Jesus fought for us.

We fight as people who were fought for. We love as the beloved.

Press on fellow heart-fighters. He is gracious.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4,5)

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Flexing or Fighting?

I’ll often ask myself when disciplining our kids, “Am I flexing my muscles or fighting for their heart?”

When things seem crazy, and I feel like I’ve lost any semblance of control in this house, I’m more tempted to flex.

Because I can make them obey with my threats. And I can feel in control again.

Or when time is short because of the demands of other kids, I’m tempted to flex. Fighting for the heart takes time. And well, sometimes it seems like I don’t have it.

“The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children.” (Shepherding a Child’s Heart)

Could the most important thing I do today not be great meals or read books or neatly written spelling words? Could the most important thing today be tending to their souls? Could it be listening?  Could it be unscheduled?

Christ came to fight for my heart. He could have “flexed.” He could have stopped Calvary in a second. But He didn’t. He stayed the course.

And even now He’s faithful. He’s patient. He shepherds me.

We fight because we’ve been fought for.

Maybe today fighting for their hearts will feel a little more like grace.

” You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)

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January has become treehouse building weather!

 

Ordinary Could Be Ordained

We’re reading “Jack’s Insects” for Science. This…

“…for one of the things that collecting does for one is to make one think that beautiful common things are less worth looking at than much less beautiful ones that are rare–there are some collectors, in fact, who go even further and think nothing beautiful that is common.”

That’s me. I’ve been calling our days far from beautiful because they seem so common.

Every day it’s basically the same schedule. Feed them. Teach them. Read to them. Walk with them. Listen to them. Bathe them. Tuck them in.

It’s so common that its lost its glory. It’s easily taken for granted.

Imagine loss to embrace today. Imagine an empty crib. Imagine inconsolable crying. Imagine how life can change in a blink.

Then today will transform from common to extraordinary.

They missed Him. Missed the Savior. He was too common. Too ordinary.

If He comes as common then maybe He’s coming today. Maybe He’s here with me in this messy house…with these loud kids…with distracted me.

Maybe I’m missing Him, because I’m looking too hard. Maybe He’s closer than my next breath.

God, help me not to call an ounce of what You’ve ordained ordinary and miss the grace.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

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(Even the rainy ones…)

 

 

 

“Artful Mothering”

“It’s the difference between being like and making a likeness. The one’s art, but the other isn’t.”

A kids’ book. And it got me.

When I try to mother according to what she says, or they think, or he wrote…I’ve settled.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

We are His masterpiece. Yes, you and me.

What if we stopped looking around and instead looked up? What if His “well done” mattered more than her “Like” on Facebook?

He made me to mother beautifully. It may not look like you do it. It may look completely opposite.

We may homeschool. There may be 5 of them. Our minivan may be nasty. Our meals below par. But if He’s the only audience I’m looking at then nothing else matters.

Let’s live the life God has given us without comparison. Let’s make art not replicas.

And if replicas, replicas of Him only.

Each child is different. So is each mother.

The only thing that’s the same…Grace. And if I believe I have His favor then what else is there to fear?

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“I Hate Being a Mom”

It’s nearly midnight. I may never push publish. But I’m writing. Wondering what you will think.

The other day I googled “I hate being a Mom.” Please don’t send me hate mail.

I love my kids. I do. I would do anything for them.

There are people who long to have kids and can’t. There are those who have lost kids.  I’m not discrediting that pain. I can’t imagine.

But I must be real. There are long days here. Really long ones. We’ve covered up this pain far too long with our Facebook pics, “I’m fines,” and cute outfits.

Can I be real? Am I alone?

You see…it’s not the kids that I’m “hating,” it’s myself. It’s the pressure I lay on thick. It’s the way I dread fixing another breakfast and changing another diaper and stopping another fight. Because I’ll never do it just right.

You aren’t the problem. I’m not worried about what you will say. It’s me. The “good mom” inside me that is constantly saying, “You are messing up.”

I can’t be all things to all of them. And if I try you’ll tag me as “helicopter parenting.” But if I don’t try I’ll tag myself as a failure.

Parenting is physically draining. It’s pouring out and going beyond. It’s loving and meeting needs and sacrificing. And somehow it’s an honor too.

I’m overwhelmed.

But He’s patient. He takes me in His arms. Holds me close. Listens to me whine and do unnecessary Google searches. “My approval is all You need. Accept you will fail. You already have. And let me fill you. Carve out time. Let me speak. Be still. Rest. I went to the cross for you. You are so loved.”

Maybe this post will officially push me into the crazy category. Maybe you’ll unfollow this blog. But it needs to be said. We need to hear it. And if confessing my questions and struggles nudges you toward Him then so be it.

Under grace there is no condemnation.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

He no longer condemns us. We can stop condemning ourselves.

Friend, fellow Mom, you are loved. Today may be long. You may want to crawl back in bed and pull the covers up tight. But He is close. He is loving You. And He calls You His own.

“God, may I please You in my parenting today…not myself.”

Today let’s parent under grace.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)

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Just a typical day in the boys’ room!